Optical transmission of blood: Effect of erythrocyte aggregation

Leonid D. Shvartsman*, Ilya Fine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The influence of red blood cell (RBC) aggregation on transparency of blood in the red-near infrared spectral range is investigated. We argue that for relatively thin blood layers the light diffraction on aggregates becomes the dominant phenomenon. The nature of pulsatile changes of blood transparency is explained by pulsations of RBC aggregate size. For another case of over-systolic vessel occlusion the following time evolution of blood transparency strongly depends on light wavelength. This dependence may serve as a basis for an alternative approach to noninvasive blood tests: occlusion spectroscopy. Theoretical results well correspond to both in vivo and in vitro measurements reproducing pulsatile blood flow and long occlusion as well.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1026-1033
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2003


  • Light scattering
  • Noninvasive blood test
  • Noninvasive glucose (hematocrit) measurement
  • Pulse oximetry
  • RBC aggregation
  • Whole blood


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